Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Author Interview- Review and GIVEAWAY: GEORGETTE HEYER!!!

(NOTE:  Mini Review Video Clip at the end of post)

Calling on all GEORGETTE HEYER Fans- Today you are in for a TREAT!

To begin with, today I have the immense pleasure of presenting to you here on EBJ- History Salon,
 THE Georgette Heyer- All-time- Expert: Author, Jennifer Kloester!!

Read Jennifer Kloester's fascinating Interview:

What prompted you to begin researching Georgette Heyer?
 I was living in the Middle East with my husband and children. Life was really busy and Georgette Heyer was my favourite comfort reading. A friend and I used to discuss her novels and we often wished we had some sort of Regency companion that would explain some of the fascinating-sounding things in her books. We wanted to know what a barouche looked like and a Spencer and a half-robe and what was ratafia and how did one 'box the watch'? Things like that intrigued me so much that after we left Bahrain I started researching Georgette's historical novels. I became so impressed with her historical accuracy, her wonderful Regency language and her meticulous attention to detail that I wanted to know more about the woman behind the books. It turned out that she was intensely private and that there was far more to know about her life and writing than I'd ever imagined and that's what started me on the research path.

In your research, was there anything you found about Georgette that surprised you most?
Many things, but what struck me most was how she used her novels as an outlet for her emotions. Georgette believed in self-control when faced with a crisis or a personal tragedy. She was very British in that way and approved of the 'stiff upper-lip' response to hardship. She rarely talked about the deeper emotions but naturally she still felt them and her writing was her way of letting them out. After her father died so suddenly she closed off that part of her life and rarely ever spoke of it again but she carried the grief of her loss with her to the end of her life. I remember reading Bath Tangle and being struck by the scene where the heroine, Lady Serena, has met her former lover, Major Kirkby, and he openly expresses his sympathy at the death of her father; Heyer writes: 'As always, she was rendered uncomfortable by spoken sympathy. "Thank you. The shock was severe, and the sense of loss must remain with me for long and long, but you must not think me borne down by it, or out of spirits. I go on very well."' It is as though Heyer is speaking for herself and this is only one of many instances where I see and hear her in her novels.

What was the most exciting part of doing the research?
Discovering the untapped archives of Georgette's letters. I remember receiving permission from her son, Sir Richard Rougier, to get copies of the amazing archive of Heyer letters at the University of Tulsa. They sent photocopies of all 321 letters to me and there were over 600 pages. I'll never forget opening the box and taking out the first letter – written when she was eighteen about writing a sequel to The Black Moth. I actually criedbecause it was such an exciting and emotional moment. There were lots more exciting moments during the research but some of the most thrilling were when I was in the British Library searching for Heyer's early short stories. I trawled literally thousands of magazines, but the feeling when I'd turn a page and seeGeorgette Heyer's name underneath a new short story title – that was truly amazing!

What advice do you have for aspiring authors on how to get started on biography writing – any important tips?
Cast your research net as wide as you can for information about your subject. Follow up every possible research line, Read where your subject read and, if possible, visit every house in which they lived and any other place that was important to them. One vital tip (which may seem really obvious but which took me time to learn), above all, focus on the subject of your book and make them central to everything you write. I found out lots of great new information about people and things that I'm sure some readers would have found fascinating but unless it enhanced the readers' understanding and insight into Georgette Heyer, I cut it.

THANK YOU Jennifer!!!

And here is my REVIEW of GEORGETTE HEYER, by Jennifer Kloester

This book is a must read for die-hard Heyer fans.  Incredibly detailed, the book tells of Georgette’s life through a meticulously researched and fascinating read.  Apart from the chronology of Heyer’s book writing and process, there is the biographical aspect that brings you right into her life.  

Who was this clever author whose ongoing captivating writing has us all hooked? What was she like? In GEORGETTE HEYER, author Jennifer Kloester reveals a woman who, contrarily to her very reserved exterior persona, spoke through her characters; allowing them to feel and express as she may never have been able to do so herself. 
The book is filled with interesting aspects that bring you closer to understanding Georgette Heyer.  For instance, I was surprised to read that she didn't accept any opinions on her books, except those from her husband.  He was the only one whose opinion she trusted.  She also allowed him to help her with the plots.
As a writer of historical fiction, Georgette was brilliant and after reading this excellent book I am of the opinion that her sparks of genius were also mirrored by bouts of eccentric thoughts.  For instance, when Georgette was ill, and at some point it happened rather frequently- she would immediately think that death was imminent. 

Indirectly, through Georgette Heyer’s letters, much of what she felt was revealed and these also formed the basis by which we discover the depth of her person.  I learnt so much about her life and her work! This gem is sure to satisfy all curiosity on the famous author- it does not disappoint. I highly recommend GEORGETTE HEYER, by Jennifer Kloester- it’s extremely well researched and offers a wealth of info that’s fascinating to read.

Thank you Sourcebooks!

To Enter to Win a Copy of this book:

1- You must be a Follower of this blog
2-  For Additional Chances, post on FB, Twitter, Linkedin, Blog and elsewhere! Just come back and post your link in comments.

Open to US and Canada
Good Luck!!!



Linda said...

I'm a big fan of Georgette Heyer and would love to learn more about her. Being from Oklahoma, I was fascinated to learn that an archive of her letters is housed by the University of Tulsa. Would love to know why UT has them. Thanks for the giveaway.
GFC follower

Amanda said...

I just read my second Heyer novel and adore her. I want to get into her more - especially some of her historical fiction. This book sounds great! Thanks!

I follow your blog and shared on Facebook and Twitter @vegasbookgirl

Libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

TIffany said...

I am a huge Heyer fan - she introduced me to the genre years and years ago.

Thanks for the giveaway!

I am a follower of the blog.


Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book. I love books by GH. I'm now following this blog. Glad I came across it from Goodreads.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

This is the type of storyline that I enjoy reading. Sounds excellent.

I follow by google and facebook.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Joanne said...

I love Georgette Heyer and would love to win! Thank you for the post from the author about her experiences writing about Heyer.

joannemccabe9 (at) cox (dot) net

I am a longtime follower of your blog. :)

Unknown said...

It's great that so many readers love Heyer's novels and I really hope the biography enhances your enjoyment of her writing. Re: the University of Tulsa, Linda, American universities are wonderful repositories of so many important documents. They really seem to value them and the Georgette Heyer archive is no exception. The University of Tulsa bought Heyer's letters from a private collector in the late 1990s. He in turn had bought the collection from the London literary agency which had once represented her. It seems that her agent had an idea that she would go on selling after her death and so he kept all Georgette's letters. How clever was that?!

Tudor Daughter said...

Long time no post or hear!!!! Back into it now. Too long to explain.
Would love to participate in this giveaway! I love Georgette Heyer.

Ann Summerville said...

I haven't read Georgette Heyer in years and I must admit I simply skipped over words I didn't understand without researching what they meant. This sounds like a wonderful book - how exciting to receive all those letters.
Going to sign up as a follower now - love your blog.

Laura Hartness said...

Thanks for the giveaway! As you know, long time follower!


CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

Laura Hartness said...


rhonda said...

Great giveaway gfc and email

Denise said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Georgette Heyer was an amazing personality, who gave many hours of pleasure to all her fans. I would love to read more about her life story. Denise

Unknown said...

Georgette's novels are wonderful to go back to, especially after a long absence. There's so much to discover and as Denise said hours of pleasure! Good luck with the giveaway and thanks for all the lovely comments.